There is an unmistakable connection between your oral health and your body health. If you are a diabetic, the link is especially strong. In fact, recent studies show that diabetes and dental health is a two-way street.
Diabetes is a disease that hinders the body’s ability to properly regulate blood sugars. Unfortunately, this creates problems within the mouth. Not only do high blood sugar levels trigger additional bacteria in the mouth (a progenitor for gum disease), but they also cause your blood vessels to thicken, which weakens the soft tissues and bone inside your mouth. Lastly, white blood cells are reduced in uncontrolled diabetes, which lowers your body’s defense against infection, including those within the mouth. Therefore, many diabetics find themselves at a primary risk for gum disease – especially when their condition is not managed properly.
The link between dental health and diabetes doesn’t stop there. Studies show that those who have gum disease may also find it more difficult to control their blood sugar. Consequently, treating gum disease can improve and stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics. Gum disease isn’t the only oral health condition that can develop due to high blood sugar levels. Tooth decay, thrush and dry mouth are also common dental problems for diabetics.
If you have diabetes, we want to monitor your oral health more closely at Gilreath Family Dentistry. Give us a call if you are experiencing the following issues:
- Sticky, dry mouth
- Dry lips
- Sense of burning in the mouth
- Tough tongue
- Mouth sores or infection
It is absolutely possible to have diabetes and also have a clean bill of health from you dentist. However, it may require more diligent efforts on your part and more careful monitoring from your dentist.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,